Marlys McCluskey


Marlys R. McCluskey, 86, of Rushford, Minn., died on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Home in Rushford. 

The funeral service was on Monday, April 29, at the Trinity Fellowship ELCA Church in Rushford, with the Rev. Kristin Rice officiating.  Burial was on Tuesday, April 30, in the Bergen Cemetery in Lester Prairie, Minn.  The family prefers memorials directed to the Trinity Fellowship ELCA Church.

Born Marlys Rae Anderson on Dec. 28, 1926 in Hutchinson, Minn., to Alvin and Olive (Benjamin) Anderson. Marlys was raised on the family Century farm south of Lester Prairie, Minn.  She was proud that the farm has been in the family since 1856, saying, “The only people to live on the land were the Indians and the Andersons.”  The land acquisition paperwork was signed by Abraham Lincoln.  She started her formal education in “country school” down the road from the family farm, later graduating from Lester Prairie High School.  She attended St. Cloud State College, graduating with a two year teaching degree in 1947, and later with a four year teaching degree from Winona State.

Marlys’ first teaching job was in Rush City, Minn.  On her first day in Rush City she met Robert McCluskey, a city boy from St. Paul, Minn.  They were married on Aug. 15, 1948.  To this union were born three children, Lynn, Dean and Scot. Marlys and Bob moved to Rushford, in June,1963 as publishers of the Tri County Record newspaper.  Marlys was a teacher. She taught in Rush City and Rushford for a total of 43 years. She loved helping young people learn.  One of her great joys was seeing former students succeed. 

Marlys liked to keep busy.  Sewing, cooking, baking crafts and woodworking were her favorite activities. She liked to travel, including a trip to the original family farm in Norway.  She was a Minnesota Twins fan, and her favorite player was Harmon Killebrew.  Marlys was an active member in a number of organizations, including:  Eastern Star, Federated Women’s Club, Legion Auxiliary, Red Hats, the Knitting Club and the Birthday Club.  She was a member of Trinity Fellowship Church in Rushford.  Marlys spent the last seven and a half years at Bremmer Suites and the Good Shepherd Lutheran Home. 

Marlys is survived by her three children, Lynn (Russell) Drinkall of Winthrop, Minn., Dean (Julia) McCluskey of Winona, Minn., and Scot (Melinda) McCluskey of Clear Lake; sister, Donna Lemke; two granddaughters, Sharylyn (Scot) Pioske and Anna McCluskey; four great-grandchildren, Morgan, Parker, Will and Dana Pioske; sisters-in-law, Helen McCluskey, Lois Anderson and Louise Anderson; many nieces and nephews; and some of the best friends anyone could ask for.  

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob, in 1987; her parents, Alvin and Olive Anderson; brothers, Glen and Warren Anderson; sisters-in-law, Katherine Ricci and Rose Marie Blossfield; and brothers-in-law, Harold Lemke, Paul Blossfield and William McCluskey; nieces, Mary Blossfield, Beth Nelson and Diane Anderson; and by a nephew, David Ricci.

We’re closing the same way Marlys closed each day, with the words to an old song that Bob recited to her every night for 40 years, “Sweetheart, may God bless you, angel hands caress you.  While sweet dreams rest you, dear old pal of mine.”

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